National CDA

The nationally recognized Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential offers valuable information on how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children. It is often the first step in a career teaching and caring for young children.

Benefits of Earning a National CDA

Child care professionals who earn their National CDA credential receive increased professional recognition.
Other benefits include:
  • Eligibility to receive child care assistance dollars at a higher reimbursement rate in a family child care setting
  • Assistant teacher qualified in a child care center setting
  • Credits toward a higher education degree
  • Increased Career Lattice Step from Develop
  • May count toward a Parent Aware Rating

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must:
  • Have earned a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete 120 training hours
  • Choose a credential setting:
    • Infant and toddler (center-based)
    • Preschool (center-based)
    • Family child care
    • Head Start Home Visitor
  • Have worked with children in their chosen setting a minimum of 480 hours within the past three years

The Council for Professional Recognition, the agency that issues the CDA credential, is the best resource for CDA-related questions. For more information on the CDA or to order your CDA Competency Standards book, including application materials, please visit the CDA Council website.